Won grand prize, two special prizes at international competition in Paris
Congratulations to pianist George Li, student of Wha Kyung Byun, who has just won the International Competition Grand Prix Animato in Paris. He was one of 10 candidates chosen to perform three recitals, December 13—16, in the prestigious Salle Cortot and won not only the grand prize of 15,000€ but also the Audience Prize and the special Brahms and Schumann Prizes of 1000€ each. Among engagements he was awarded a recital date at the Louvre Museum in January 2016.
George, who studied at NEC and the Walnut Hill School through his Preparatory School years, was accepted into the Harvard/NEC Joint Degree program in 2013. Now 19, the pianist is no stranger to competition wins. He previously won the Cooper International Piano Competition in Oberlin, Ohio; the Young Concert Artists Auditions, and was the youngest pianist ever selected to win the Gilmore Young Artists Award (2012). George was also invited to play at a White House state dinner when President and Mrs. Obama entertained German Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel in June 2011.
Founded in 1994, the aim of the Grand prix Animato is to help exceptional pianists obtain more international recognition and important professional engagements. The structure of the competition resembles that of a festival: the participants have the opportunity to present themselves in Paris, before a great and knowledgeable audience. Each is allowed three recitals, one of which is approximately 60 minutes. There is no elimination: each contestant performs in every round. The required repertoire is entirely free, with the exception of two pieces, this year taken from Schumann’s Kinderszenen (Op. 15, Nos. 1 & 13). A work by Brahms was optional but qualified a candidate for the special Brahms Prize.